SPARK 2020 02/12: Happy & Healthy

The 4 projects illustrated below consider the disparate aspects of health and happiness, from the basic provision of freshwater to homes for dogs and the essential issue of respectful aged care.

The world’s ageing population is changing and so must the way we think about the architecture that supports the older section of our community. SPARK has worked on a number of projects that seek to support those that have an increasingly fragile independence.

SPARK  Dog House : “Pet1” Dog house with Hunter

Because of rapid urbanisation and lower birth rates increasing numbers of the older generation do not have the support of a family, public and private organisations  often take the responsibility for their accommodation, safety and wellbeing in a common collective environment where the individual is invisible, subsumed by the interests of finance rather than the provision of a considerate environment.

The requirement of assistance, support is a watershed in our life story. We are no longer fully self-determined individuals and we move into another class; older people dependant on assistance to get through the day. SPARK’s Ranfurly and Cochrane glass house and Homefarm Cyberjaya demonstrate the basic requirement of aged care can be delivered in an environment that is supportive, stimulating and productive.

SPARK 3 little pigs: a biomass power generator

The subsequent 2 projects concern the health of the freshwater system in China’s Yunnan Province and the provision of an upcycled plastic doghouse for the animal charities Blue Cross and Bow Wow Haus.

Ranfurly and Cochrane

Client: Silverline Healthcare


The construction of a modest garden glass house and social space for the residents that enables activity and interaction allied to vegetable and flower gardening.

SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane: A social greenhouse inspired by Skara Brae and Scottish thatch roofs

Edible planting within the SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane greenhouse

SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane: Sectional perspective SPARK

SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane: exterior perspective

SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane: A social greenhouse

SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane: A social greenhouse situated next to the local nursing home

HomeFarm Cyberjaya

Client: HSC Healthcare

Homefarm is a new typology for residential living that seeks to retain the older generation within a supportive cross-sectional community rather than isolating them from it. Homefarm achieves something that many higher-density models struggle to offer, a proximity to nature.

A growing body of evidence shows the correlation between physical surroundings, the inflow of natural light and green views are the basis of better physical and mental health. Green spaces and immersion in nature aligned to community participation have positive effects on a wide range of parameters, such as cognitive abilities, stress and cardiovascular health.

SPARK Cyberjaya Homefarm: A community of 6 residential towers, medical offices enclosing a large central garden

SPARK Cyberjaya Homefarm: View of central garden from Medical Suites

SPARK Cyberjaya Homefarm: Planted terraces overlooking edible gardens

Dog House

Client: Bow Wow Haus /Blue Cross

SPARK upcycles single use PET 1 plastic drinking water bottles into a house for a dog. The dog house was designed and manufactured in SPARK’s Singapore studio and then shipped to London and auctioned on behalf of the Blue Cross animal welfare charity.

Introduction to the Dog House Project

SPARK Dog House:  Completed “Pet1”, constructed in the studio from recycled PET water bottles

SPARK Dog House: “Pet1” early conceptual image

SPARK Dog House: Constructing “Pet1” in the SPARK workshop

SPARK Dog House: Constructing “Pet1” in the SPARK workshop

SPARK Dog House: “Reservoir Dogs” conceptual sketches

SPARK Dog House: “Reservoir Dogs” conceptual image

SPARK Dog House: SPARK Associate Luca Maccarinelli putting “Reservoir Dogs”  together for the auction

SPARK Dog House: “Reservoir Dogs”  at the workshop

SPARK Dog House: “Reservoir Dogs”  on exhibition at St Pancreas Station, London

3 Little Pigs

Client: SPARK


Each summer many of the lakes in Yunan Province, China’s centre of pig husbandry turn bright green caused by excess nutrients. A phenomenon known as eutrophication caused by pig manure leaching into the water chain. When it rains, untreated animal waste from farms washes into lakes, streams and rivers. Polluted water is a chronic problem in China despite the government’s attempts to eradicate unethical agricultural practices and water contamination.

SPARK’s 3 Little Pigs is a biomass power generator that uses and contains the pig manure in a positive fashion turning pig manure into a “free” source of power for the errant farmers.

SPARK 3 little pigs: a biomass power generator

SPARK 3 little pigs: contributing to the farming skyline

SPARK 3 little pigs: serving the local farming community

SPARK 3 little pigs: a spot of pink in the landscape

SPARK 3 little pigs: the local landmark

SPARK 3 little pigs: a biomass power generator

Stephen Pimbley February 2020